BAR 20:01, Jan/Feb 1994
Dead Sea Scrolls Research Council: Fragments
4Q448 in Translation: New Decipherment Yields Surprises
Hard to read because of its semicursive script, the Dead Sea Scroll known as 4Q448 lacked a proper decipherment of a key phrase for 15 years after its publication, until Dr. Ada Yardeni sucessfully deciphered it in 1992. Measuring 6 by 3 inches, the leather fragment bears three columns of text, designated A, at top; B, at right; and C, at left (see translation). A 2-by-2-inch reinforcing tab, at center right, secured a thong (found still attached) that kept the scroll from unrolling. The thong would have been wrapped around the scroll and tied as shown in the drawing. Although Qumran Cave 4 and Cave 8 yielded more than 200 leather tabs and matching thongs, this is only the second example that was found still attached to a scroll.